Sunday, February 5, 2023
West Bengal

Festivals and Fairs

▪ Durga Puja ▪ Diwali ▪ Muslim Festivals ▪ Festival of Sahajiya Sect ▪ Orthodox Vaishnava festivals
▪ Rathayathra ▪ Holi ▪ Rabindra Jayanti ▪ Birthday of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose
▪ Dussera ▪ Fairs ▪ Sri-Panchami ▪ Birthday of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Festival of Sahajiya Sect

The Sahajiya sect has its biggest festival in the middle of January at Kenduli in Birbhum district. The district is the birth place of Jayadeva, the poet of Gita Govindam. Here, Sahajiyas from all parts of Bengal  assemble in a week long festival, hold long sessions of highly exoteric songs and ecstatic dance and go through their characteristic forms of worship. The village and the environs are transformed into a vast fair ground, where every article of use and inexpensive finery are brought and sold and popular entertainments do brisk business. A similar mela, is held at Ghosepara, near Kalyani on the day following Holi.

The river Ganga accounts for one of the great festivals-cum-fair. On the last day of  Indian month of  Pous (Mid January) lakhs of assembled pilgrims have a holy dip at the Saugour island beach on the estuary of the Bhagirathi river, where a makeshift township is erected for their reception by the state authorities. The pilgrims who belong to all sections of Hindus flock by river crafts of all descriptions. Complete bazars (markets) springs up for meeting their needs. Medical including hospital facilities are made available and Hindu missionary bodies provide thousands of volunteers to look after their welfare.